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Sample Essay on Recycling in Saudi Arabia

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Sample Essay on Recycling in Saudi Arabia


Traditionally, it has been presumed that after graduating, the main objective of the graduate is to seek employment in any of the leading firms and to further one’s career. However, this understanding is now considered rather limited in nature leading to the modern understanding that one should not necessarily be focused on being employed but can effectively use the skills and knowledge gained in college to start a successful business venture and consequently become an entrepreneur and an employer. Most of the leading businesspersons in the world such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did not necessarily start their careers by being employed by starting what are now some of the most prosperous companies in the world. It is in this line that the project team decided to start a business venture. The process began by first identifying the existing gaps and opportunities in the market. The team identified that waste disposal in Saudi Arabia was a growing challenge that has led to significant harm to the environment and continued to pose health dangers to the community.

With increasing population, urbanization, and industrialization, the issue of waste management in Saudi Arabia is bound to continue and increase in severity. Moreover, a survey of the waste management industry revealed that there were only a few market players with the level of effectiveness being primarily low and therefore not enough to serve the existing demand for efficient and effective waste management services. This therefore spurred the idea to start a recycling business that would collect waste from households, restaurants, and companies, sort the waste material, recycle the material into reusable products, and then sell them the target market. The proposed location is the Prince Mohammed University in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The location is considered ideal since it is strategically located close to the cities of Ad Dammam and Al Khobar, is part of the part of the Dammam Metropolitan Area, and is therefore densely populated and consequently has a constant supply of waste materials (Martin, & Camp Dresser and McKee, 2010).

B. Feasibility Study
Service Feasibility

Saudi Arabia is considered one of the countries that are experiencing rapid economic development, industrialization, population growth, and urbanization. Consequently, the nation is also experiencing a rapid increase in waste production. Environmental organizations indicate that the current level of waste generated in the country is causing strain to the current government and the existing resources. According to recent statistics, Saudi Arabia has a population of approximately 29 million people and produces solid waste amounting to roughly 15 million tons annually. Moreover, the current per capita waste production stands at around 1.75 kilograms per day (In Zimring, & In Rathje, 2012).


Moreover, the current levels of waste generation are causing adverse effects to the environment. These have resulted in the development of landfills and other adverse environmental consequences such as water and land pollution. Taking into consideration the increasing and rapid rate waste generation and the adverse repercussions presented by waste production, waste recycling programs are considered highly feasible and in high demand.

Service Desirability


The figure above shows typical dumping of waste. (Alruqaie, 2012)

Waste recycling services are highly desired and on high demand not only by the current civilization but also by future generations. In Saudi Arabia, waste generation is recorded the highest in the three largest cities, which are Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. Waste generation in these three cities alone is more than six million tons per year thereby revealing the magnitude of the challenges faced by the civic bodies and the increasing desire and demand for effective waste recycling firms. Approximately seventy-five percent of the national population resides in urban centers, which are considered the greatest generators of waste. Moreover, the country is attempting to market itself as a global tourist destination to complement its sources of national revenue. Waste recycling services are highly desired and demanded. The venture presents a feasible solution to the current waste management challenges that further pose challenges to the urban population and the government’s intention to market itself as a global tourist destination (Parker, 2006).

Service Demand

The need for recycling services is quickly gaining pace in Saudi Arabia. It is mainly attributed to the concerted efforts of environmental groups and the government in encouraging the society to use recycled products. Moreover, the traditional methods of disposal are considered non-feasible since they result in the environmental pollution, creation of landfills, and negative health implications. Therefore, recycling is considered a growing global trend. Moreover, the waste recycling industry is considered one of the fastest growing industries not only in Saudi Arabia but also around the globe (Brebbia, & Wessex Institute of Technology, 2012).

Currently, municipal solid waste is mainly manually collected from strategically located bins within the community or from individual houses. The solid waste is then dumped in designated dumpsite that results in eyesore landfills. The current waste management system of Saudi Arabia is considered ineffective and lacks tipping and disposal fees. The government and municipal agencies are also yet to adopt state of the art and more effective re-use, recycling, and energy recovery mechanisms. The sorting and recycling of waste products are operated by the informal sector (Ouda, & Cekirge, 2014).

Additionally, the current recycling strategies are manual in nature and highly labor intensive. However, the relevant agencies are slowly adopting composting strategies and this is facilitated by the high MSW content of approximately 40%. It is plausible to posit that an effective and efficient waste recycling plant and system is needed to deal with the current challenges that the Saudi society is grappling with (Alzahrani, 2012).

Recycling machine and bins to be spread around Saudi Arabia – Specifically Alkhobar region: recycle machines and dust bins will need to be placed at strategic position in the Alkhobar region to help control littering of public places. This will enable the people to exercise self control as well as abide by the set rules and regulations providing for good citizenship with an environmental focus.

Industry and Target Market Feasibility
Industry Attractiveness

The Saudi Arabia non-metal recycling industry is considered highly attractive considering that it attained a double-digit growth rate between the years 2007 and 2012 and being valued at SR186 million by the end of the year 2012. The business sector is considered the largest source of demand averaging at 71 percent. Saudi Arabia is considered one of the highest producers of waste per capita around the world. In general, the rates of recycling are considered very low whereby they average between 10 and 05 percent across various industries. Most of the market players are large multinational corporations. However, the government is providing significant incentives in the effort of promoting waste recycling. According to research, the Saudi Arabian waste recycling industry is forecasted to record a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13 percent from the year 2013 to 2018 (Missimer, Maliva, Ghaffour, Leiknes, & Amy, 2014).

The recycle bins will also provide easy access for garbage collectors to find the garbage at specified points making the exercise quick and easy to handle. The machines would be in places where people frequent often such as in universities and in different institutions where there is need to have a proper garbage collection plan. Universities such as Prince Mohammed, which is located in the East, will be an ideal location for placement of this recycling machine as people would be encouraged to recycle their used items so as to get value for their products.

Target Market Attractiveness

The identified target market mainly comprises of two groups. The first group mainly comprises the clients from whom the company will provide the waste collection services. For this group, the company will provide an efficient waste collection system and assure the clients that the solid waste collected are be recycled in an effective manner and not necessarily dumped to create landfills. Additionally, the company will target the local communities and municipalities with the aim of clearing off their landfills by sorting the recyclable products such as organic waste, plastics, etc., and recycle them. In this way, the company will play the critical role in cleaning up and preserving the environment. The company aims to collect waste from the neighboring farms and residential areas, and urban centers, sort them out, and recycle them into reusable and valuable products. The second group of the target market for the recycling plant comprises of plant nurseries, fertilizer manufacturers, farmers, local government agencies, landscapers, golf courses, among others. These are considered parties who will highly benefit from the products formed from the recycling process. In this way, the organic waste products from hotels, restaurants, households, and farms will be processed and recycled using state of the art processes and resold to the above target groups. Additionally, glass and plastic waste material will be sorted out and recycled. It will be resold to companies as raw materials for the production of new plastic and glass products.

Organizational Feasibility
Management Talent

As far as human resources and labor skills are concerned, the top-level management will mainly be made up of three personnel, who are the general manager, administration manager, and the production manager. The top-level management will play a critical role in ensuring the smooth and successful running of the company.

General Manager

The general manager will be responsible for determining the company’s corporate strategy and steering the company to achieve its goals and objectives. In this way, the General Manager will bear the primary responsibility in the business performance. Consequently, he or she will supervise the implementation of the company strategy.

Administration Manager

            The administration manager will provide the company with financial management services and primarily serve as the finance manager by ensuring all financial transaction are recorded in accordance to accounting standards. He or she will be involved in all financial operations and processing activities.

The production manager

The production manager will be in charge of the company processing and production operations. They will also serve as the main quality control manager. The production manager will be in charge of all technical processes involved in the collection and recycling of waste. It is in addition to organizing and supervising maintenance schedules on company equipment.

The required support personnel include:
  1. Industrial chemist: Will be in charge of assessing the chemical processes involved in the waste recycling processes. This is in addition to testing whether the final products and by-products meet the standard chemical composition and the entire process does not harm the environment or the end users.
  2. Maintenance crew: The maintenance crew will be well versed in technical expertise within their respective fields including electrical, civil and mechanical engineering. They will provide assistance to the production manager in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the company equipment.
  3. Security team: The security team, headed by the security manager, will be in charge of ensuring only authorized personnel have access to the company premises. Additionally, they will be responsible for ensuring the security of all company assets.

Resource Availability

Saudi Arabia is endowed with a highly skilled workforce. Additionally, since the company is proposed to be set up near the university, it will be very easy to tap into the university community. Additionally, Saudi Arabia also attracts a huge workforce from all over the world with skills ranging from skilled, semi-skilled to unskilled. It provides the company with a vast pool of talent. Additionally, the availability of semi-skilled and unskilled labor mainly from other counties will be essential for some of the non-technical tasks such as garbage collection and sorting.

Financial Feasibility
Total Start up Cash needed

The company financing will be based on several loans with the funds being used to purchase the production equipment, premises, provide the initial operating capital in addition to establishing the customer base. The total startup capital required and a breakdown of how it will be used is indicated in the table below. All figures are in Saudi Riyal

Start-up Funding

Start-up Expenses to Fund


Start-up Assets to Fund


Total Funding Required




Non-cash Assets from Start-up


Cash Requirements from Start-up


Additional Cash Raised


Cash Balance on Starting Date


Total Assets


Liabilities and Capital




Current Borrowing


Long-term Liabilities


Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)


Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)


Total Liabilities




Planned Investment






Additional Investment Requirement


Total Planned Investment


Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)


Total Capital


Total Capital and Liabilities


Total Funding



Financial Performance of similar Companies


WASCO (Waste Collection and Recycling Co. Ltd.), is one of the leading integrated and waste management companies operating in the Saudi Arabia. The company collects an average of 400,000 tons of waste per year. The company has more than 20 collection centers spread throughout the Middle East with over three hundred vehicles. The company, which started in 2014, has been recording impressive financial results. Since the company is not publicly owned, it is a challenge to gain access to its financial records. Judging by its growth rate and its current expansion strategy, which includes doubling the number of collection centers in the next two years, it is plausible to conclude that the company is performing well financially (International Conference on Waste Management and the Environment, In Brebbia, In Passerini, & In Itoh, 2014).

Overall Financial attractiveness

The proposed business venture is considered financially lucrative in general.

Break-even Analysis

Monthly Units Break-even


Monthly Revenue Break-even




Average Per-Unit Revenue


Average Per-Unit Variable Cost


Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost


Going by the break-even analysis presented above, it is presumed that the company will attain profitability by the second year of operation having repaid all its initial loan capital.


















The feasibility study indicates that the proposed venture is highly feasible. The waste recycling industry is highly lucrative and will provide the company with a steady supply of waste material and clients for the near future. With the current increase in population, urbanization, and industrialization, compounded with the increasing need to conserve the environment, the company’s services are bound to be in high demand. Although the initial capital seems to be significantly high, the source of funding is not considered as a challenge owing to the current incentives offered by the government and the willingness of the existing financial institutions. Other institutions such as universities will also benefit from this initiative through recycling of goods encourage re-use thus saving on costs incurred in purchasing some of these goods.













Alruqaie, I. M. (December 01, 2012). Environmental advantage assessment of recycling food waste in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, 6, 6, 230-237.

Alzahrani, N. B. (2012). Recycling and waste management in Saudi Arabia. Thesis (M.B.A.)–California State University.

Brebbia, C. A., & Wessex Institute of Technology. (2012). Sustainability today. Southampton: WIT Press.

In Zimring, C. A., & In Rathje, W. L. (2012). Encyclopedia of consumption and waste: The social science of garbage. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

International Conference on Waste Management and the Environment, In Brebbia, C. A., In Passerini, G., & In Itoh, H. (2014). Waste management and the environment VII. Southampton WIT Press.

Martin, S., & Camp Dresser and McKee, Mass. (May 31, 1980). Wastewater reuse in saudi arabia: the new oasis. Water Wastes Eng, 28-33.

Missimer, T.M., Maliva, R.G., Ghaffour, N., Leiknes, T., & Amy, G.L. (2014). Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) economics for wastewater reuse in low population wadi communities, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Missimer T, Maliva R, Ghaffour N, Leiknes T, Amy G (2014) Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Economics for Wastewater Reuse in Low Population Wadi Communities, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Water 6: 2322-2338. doi:10.3390/w6082322.) MDPI AG.

Ouda, O. K. M., & Cekirge, H. M. (November 01, 2014). Potential Environmental Values of Waste-to-Energy Facilities in Saudi Arabia. Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 39, 11, 7525-7533.

Parker, P. M. (2006). 2007-2012 world outlook for remediation and waste management services excluding waste collection, waste treatment and disposal, and waste management consulting services, the. ICON Group.

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